Magazine article American Banker

Former State AG to Head Up CFPB Seniors Division

Magazine article American Banker

Former State AG to Head Up CFPB Seniors Division

Article excerpt

Byline: Donna Borak

WASHINGTON a Former Minnesota Attorney General Hubert "Skip" Humphrey will head the Office of Older Americans for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the agency said Wednesday.

Humphrey, who was also a state Senator and most recently served on AARP's national board, has spent more than three decades in public services in Minnesota working to protect consumers.

Valerie Jarrett, senior advisor for the Obama administration, lauded Humphrey as the right choice to head the new division, especially as older Americans are confronted with more financial challenges because of the financial crisis.

"We are so excited to have someone with Skip's credentials to be in charge of this most important effort," said Jarrett, on a conference call with reporters. "Older Americans were particularly hard hit by the financial crisis. Today, seniors have to navigate through an increasing number of financial challenges."

The bureau is required under Dodd-Frank to create an office to address the needs of Americans 62 and older to help improve decision making and prevent unfair and deceptive practices targeted at seniors.

Following the financial crisis, many seniors were left at a serious disadvantage with some seeing their home foreclosed upon, being burdened with debt they never anticipated, and even in some cases, forgoing retirement until much later.

Raj Date, who has been running the agency on an acting basis, said a number of teams within the CFPB are dedicated to examining certain populations, like seniors, military service personnel and students to gain "a more complete picture of the financial products these consumers use and where they might be vulnerable."

"It's been a tough few years for older Americans," said Date. "The Office of Older Americans will shine a bright light on financial issues affecting seniors while working to empower, educate and protect them, so they can make smart financial choices. …

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